In Memory of Charlie Farrington

Charlie Farrington was an Inspector with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).  He also served as a Firearms Instructor with the agency, and circumstance put us all together in 2001 while on a detail to the INS Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga.  A short time later we would be united to perform the impossible, which was to train all the waiting applicants on the INS Roster prior to the dissolution of the Agency.  There were 30+ Firearms Instructors operating out of a double wide trailer, with 5 desks, 3 computers, a refrigerator and a crock pot.  Under the guidance of the seasoned professionals there under INS, we set out to do the impossible.  We trained full classes of 48 students, one after another, and lost very few due to weapons training.  We were known as "The Snake Pit".  A lot of venom flowed through that trailer, but when it came time to get the job done, it was not unusual to see 12 or 13 instructors on the line instead of the 5 or 6 normally assigned.  We got the job done, educating the most students in the shortest period of time ever at the Academy.   We also formed a Brotherhood that holds strong to this day.  Jerry Jones was given the impossible task of handling this group.  And a diverse group it was.  Everyone from former INS Agents to a guy that was actually shot down in a foreign theater of operation,and recorded in the movie "Blackhawk Down".  A Master Chief assigned to submarines prior to his service at INS and a former "Gunny" from the United States Marine Corp and Roger Holt.  These were perhaps the greatest days of my life.  And Charlie Farrington made them that way.  Later, enter Joanne Thale Lembo, another of my best friends that I have shared so much of my life with, and recruits Charlie and I to the coveted positions of Senior Firearms Instructors for a Agency of 44,000 officers.  Joanne, Charlie and I vowed to make the Firearms Division the best it could be, even under the guidelines of the new agency, Customs and Border Protection.
We have lost a great Instructor, a great human being and a great friend.  Charlie never me a stranger, and he never forgot a face or a name.  His personality was made of humor and charm, but he was reallywell educated and super smart.  He spoke many languages fluently, something he picked up while assigned as support to Seal Team #3.  Everyone knew Charlie.  We even had coozies made up to support a food drive which had "I Know Charlie Farrington" on them.  They sold out immediately.  I shipped them as far as Guam.
Personally, I have lost a Brother, one of my best friends in this world, and a man who meant a great deal to me.  God Speed my Brother.  Rest in Peace.  You've earned it.
Dave Fike
Retired, INS/CBP - Legacy My Ass!